––Anne L. Bryant, executive director, National School Boards Association
"The chances for providing an even better education for students increases geometrically when school boards and superintendents work together in common purpose. This book can help build the capacity of boards to support district–level improvement with wise governance and leadership."
––Paul Houston, executive director, American Association of School Administrators
School boards are under fire and overworked, but they are here to stay. Here is a practical guide to improving their operation. Filled with real–life examples of sound board action, Effective School Boards presents a useful model for boards who want to make a difference in improving education and leading wisely. In this book, Eugene Smoley analyzes information received from extensive interviews with school board members about the key elements of highly functional boards and offers advice and insights to help boards make better decisions, act collaboratively, relate to their communities, and plan strategically. He outlines three stages of board improvement––self–assessment, monitoring, and development––highlighting how boards can partner with district superintendents to lead change. Practical tools for improvement include a self–evaluation questionnaire, a sample format for retreats and conferences, and concrete suggestions to assist school board members, superintendents, concerned citizens, business leaders, foundations, and anyone who cares about how today′s schools are governed.
A MODEL FOR BOARD EFFECTIVENESS.
Making Rational Decisions.
Functioning Cohesively as a Group.
Exercising Appropriate Authority.
Connecting to the Community.
Working Toward Board Improvement.
HOW TO MAKE SCHOOL BOARDS STRONGER.
Strengthening the SuperintAndent–Board Partnership.
Getting the Best Information.
Engaging in Board Development.
Conclusion: An AgAnda for Action.
"The chances for providing an even better education for students increases geometrically when school boards and superintAndents work together in common purpose. This book can help build the capacity of boards to support district–level improvement with wise governance and leadership." (Paul Houston, executive director, American Association of School Administrators)
"The age–old mystery of how to improve the performance of school boards has finally been solved. Just follow the sound advice in this book." (Richard P. Chait, professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education)
"In this valuable book, Smoley has brought wisdom and clarity to one of the most perplexing issues facing education reform: How do we get school boards to work effectively? This is a guidebook that serious school board officials should read cover to cover." (Christopher T. Cross, president, Council for Basic Education)
"In an era where quality superintAndents and harmonious relationships between them and their boards of education are often hard to find and even harder to maintain, Effective School Boards is a pungent and pithy must–read." (Kenneth S. Burnley, superintAndent of schools, Colorado Springs School District, Colorado)